Zooarchaeology of Landnám: 9th-11th c Midden Deposits at Sveigakot, N Iceland


Excavations by Archaeological Inst. Iceland at the small inland farm site of Sveigakot in Mývatn district of N Iceland since 1999 have produced a substantial archaeofauna dating from the first settlement in the late 9th c down to final abandonment in the late 12th c with a period of abandonment and reoccupation in the early 11th c. Three midden deposits datable by tephra, radiocarbon and artifacts span the major occupation phases and provide the basis for this report of the ongoing investigations. These midden deposits show a general decline of cattle, and a marked decline in pig and goat relative to sheep in the latest layers. Aging data suggest that cattle were managed for dairy produce and pigs for meat, but that sheep were managed primarily for wool production. Wild species include small numbers of arctic fox, seal, porpoise, migratory and non-migratory birds, freshwater and marine fish and mollusks. The pattern of fish bone elements indicates production and transport of preserved fish into this inland district from first settlement onwards.

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Zooarchaeology of Landnám: 9th-11th c Midden Deposits at Sveigakot, N Iceland. Thomas McGovern, Sophia Perdikaris, Colin Amundsen. 2004 ( tDAR id: 394089) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8H132ZR

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